Interview with The Safes on their Juliana Hatfield Tribute

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Interview with The Safes on their Juliana Hatfield Tribute

Huge thanks to long term friend of liveontomorrow.co.uk and regular contributor Carlos Lopez for conducting this interview with Frankie O'Malley of The Safes:

Chicago's garage power pop multi instrumentalists and band of brothers, The Safes, have recently released a heartfelt tribute to the one and only Juliana Hatfield. A limited red coloured 7" on American Laundromat Records with covers of fan favorites 'Universal Heart-beat' and 'I See You' with accompanying vídeos for both tracks that have received the seal of approval from Juliana herself.

(CL) Juliana Hatfield has a very extensive musical career. It goes back to her start in Boston's thriving music underground scene in the mid 80's with The Blake Babies. How did you discover Juliana's music and become a fan?

(FO'M) We first heard Juliana Hatfield played on the best radio station in Chicago, WLUW, regularly when "Hey Babe" came out. We all just loved the songs and the singing so much! We’ve been fans ever since!

Were any other songs considered besides 'Universal Heart-beat' and 'I See You' for the tribute?

No, not really... I mean doing "My Sister" and "Spin the Bottle" was talked about a little after we made our decision to record the other two songs. But it was really an afterthought. So we just went with our gut picks!

Learning these songs was a challenge; Juliana Hatfield has so many gifts as a songwriter!

How did the rehearsals go learning the songs as a band before recording?

Ha! For The Safes, rehearsals for this recording session were particularly unique! We had asked Ted Ansani and Mike Zelenko of Material Issue (one of our all-time favorite bands!) to be our rhythm section for this single. And working with them was such a thrill! Very easy! Very laid back and 100% professional and tons of fun! Not everyone just gets to pick a lifetime favorite and have them be into it and for it to work so well! It really was special and super fun! Ted and Mike are aces! And learning these songs was a challenge; Juliana Hatfield has so many gifts as a songwriter! The chords in "I See You", speaking for myself, I know I learned some new fingers for that one! Also she can change the melody on every verse and have the melodies improve saving the best for the last verse. This skill of hers is a super unique thing about her songs! Not everyone does this, most songwriters have a melody for the verse, one for the chorus, maybe a bridge but Juliana Hatfield has these songs where the verse melody changes every verse. It's so cool I love it! My brother Patrick writes songs like that too; I wish I could. And learning the left hand keyboard part for “Universal Heart-Beat” was very difficult!

Every bass run is just little different from the other and they are all so on the money.

Whose idea was it to work with Steve Albini who has worked with so many legendary bands like Pixies and Nirvana?

Mine! Seemed such a natural for this single and turned out to be hands down a very good call if I do say so myself!

How did the recording process go compared to your previous experiences making a record?

Um, I'd say very similar in most ways! The Safes are always prepared to knock it out of the park in the studio. No fussing about. Steve was awesome! Very professional, fast, very smart, very easy to work with. Gotta say it was one hell of an experience to record two Juliana Hatfield songs with Steve Albini and Ted & Mike. It's hard to express exactly but it was pretty magical I'll say!

American Laundromat Records have been very supportive of Juliana's recent recordings. Were you surprised at the opportunity to work with them?

I wouldn't say I was surprised because our dear friend Nicole Anguish of Daykamp Creative does a load of artwork for American Laundromat Records and got our music to the label owner, Joe Spadaro! But I was thrilled to find out that Joe liked The Safes enough to release a single of us doing a tribute to Juliana Hatfield for sure!!! Very happy about that!

Your videos for both tracks on the tribute are really fun to watch. Did the band had any input on the concepts or did you let the director surprise you with ideas?

We had zero to do with the music videos other than knowing and being lucky enough to be friends with two super-cool and mega-talented artists who both did amazing work making these videos!

Wendy Norton of Norton Videos created our “Universal Heart-Beat” video:

James William Glass created our “I See You” music video:

From what I have read Juliana really liked your takes on her songs. How did that make the band feel?

Well, we were over the moon when we heard that. Juliana Hatfield gave us such great feedback on our versions of her amazing songs! I mean, that really made me feel great I must say! And I know the rest of The Safes feel the same. Super rad! Thank you Juliana!

Besides Juliana what other bands have inspired The Safes?

So many it's impossible to list them all but here are some that come to mind Andalusian Dogs, The Breeders, Fetchin Bones, The Cramps, etc...

I know you have been touring recently. What's next for the band?

Well I'm proud to say The Safes have maintained a very steady schedule; write songs, record songs, release music and tour in support! So continuing to do that next should always remain what’s next for The Safes until the end of time!

Thank you Frankie for your time and sharing your memories. All the best to you and The Safes.


links for the single:
Buy the 7 inch single at American Laundromat Records
Listen at Apple Music
Listen at Spotify

other The Safes links:
Bandcamp
thesafes.com
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

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Video - Blake Babies (with Evan Dando) 10-30-1988 The Rat

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Video - Blake Babies (with Evan Dando) 10-30-1988 The Rat

Oh my! What a treat this is.

Uploaded 30 years after it took place by RoadToRuane - the Billy Ruane live archive preservation, here's a Blake Babies show featuring Evan Dando.

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The Juliana Hatfield Three - UK Tour - May 2019

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The Juliana Hatfield Three - UK Tour - May 2019

The Juliana Hatfield Three! UK! 2019!

UPDATE 2: Brighton & Glasgow shows added!

UPDATE 1: London date is May 21. Birmingham venue is O2 Institute, not O2 Academy as I wrongly listed originally. Hope to see friends old and new in May! - Craig.

May 2019, UK
20 Brighton - The Prince Albert
21 London - O2 Academy Islington
22 Bristol - Thekla
23 Nottingham - Rescue Rooms
24 Glasgow - CCA
25 Manchester - Academy - part of Gigantic Vol 5 All Day Festival
26 Birmingham - O2 Institute

Juliana's official site says "more European shows to be announced."

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Juliana Hatfield Announces New Album Weird and Shares First Single – American Laundromat Records

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Juliana Hatfield Announces New Album Weird and Shares First Single – American Laundromat Records

New album info time!

It's called Weird and is due for release on January 18, 2019.

Here's the first single - It's So Weird:

From American Laundromat Records blog post:

Freda Love Smith (Blake Babies, Sunshine Boys) and Todd Philips (Lemonheads, The Juliana Hatfield Three) each played drums on multiple songs while Hatfield played all of the other instruments (and some additional drums).

Album Bio:

Laura Fisher has written liner notes as an "Album Bio", which is effectively the first review. An excerpt:

Why wouldn’t you want to block out the world? Hatfield asks us. Outside the home are people who misread your facial expressions (“Staying In”), whose gestures of love feel like efforts to possess you (“It’s So Weird”), who drag you into a vortex of lies and gaslighting (“Paid to Lie”), and who have allowed every last shred of human experience to be commodified, from dignity, religion, and privacy to fake IDs and opioids (“Everything’s For Sale”). Outside the glowing orb of independence are other people’s demands, their power plays, their lies and misinterpretations. Who needs it?

Artwork:

Track List:

  1. Staying In
  2. It's So Weird
  3. Sugar
  4. Everything's For Sale
  5. All Right, Yeah
  6. Broken Doll
  7. Receiver
  8. Lost Ship
  9. Paid To Lie
  10. No Meaning
  11. Do It To Music

Bonus 7" Track List:

  1. On Your Feet
  2. The Family Stain

Order Info:

Orders are being taken now for Vinyl, CD, Cassette, and Bonus 7 inch vinyl in a variety of specialist bundles at https://www.alr-music.com/products/juliana-hatfield-weird

The album is also being distributed through Cargo Records in the UK.

T-shirts & Other Merch:

If that's not enough, American Laundromat Records also have a couple of new Juliana t-shirts for sale, for delivery in January 2019, and now Iron-On Patches too:

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Video - The Safes - Universal Heart-beat

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Video - The Safes - Universal Heart-beat

The Safes' cover now has a video.

American Laundromat Records YouTube info:

Directed by Wendy Norton of Norton Videos

"Universal Heartbeat" Performed by The Safes
Recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio
Written by Juliana Hatfield
Published by Universal Music-Z Songs OBO Juliana Hatfield Music (BMI)

Visit The Safes:
http://thesafes.bandcamp.com
http://www.thesafes.com/music.html
http://www.instagram.com/thesafesmusic
http://www.facebook.com/thesafesmusic/
http://www.twitter.com/thesafesmusic

The tribute 7 inch:

https://www.alr-music.com/collections/catalog/products/the-safes-a-tribute-to-juliana-hatfield-seven-inch

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Video - Juliana sings Olivia Newton-John with Liz Phair in Boston, October 8, 2018

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Video - Juliana sings Olivia Newton-John with Liz Phair in Boston, October 8, 2018

Juliana appeared on stage for an encore at Liz Phair's show at Royale Boston last night (Oct 8, 2018.)

She performed Olivia Newton-John's Please Mr. Please with Liz and Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis.

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The Safes - A Tribute To Juliana Hatfield Seven-Inch – American Laundromat Records

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The Safes - A Tribute To Juliana Hatfield Seven-Inch – American Laundromat Records

New covers of Juliana's Universal Heart-beat and I See You are now available to order.

American Laundromat Records:

Chicago's The Safes are thrilled to release a 2-song, 7” tribute to Juliana Hatfield; one of their favorite artists. The Safes tracked this single with the one and only Steve Albini and, to turn this up to 11, The Safes asked their friends Ted Ansani and Mike Zelenko of legendary power pop trio Material Issue to be the rhythm section for this recording. Give it listen. These songs are as good as songs get -- The Safes saw no reason in trying to improve upon perfection and just had fun rockin' these classics.

Exclusive pressing on red vinyl. Original artwork by Nicole Anguish at Daykamp Creative. Only 500 copies exist. All 45's include a digital download card.

Juliana:

I'm so tickled by The Safes' joyful, lovable versions of my two songs! I think they really captured the essence of what the songs were and still are trying to say which is that there is always hope to be had

Order at American Laundromat Records:

https://www.alr-music.com/collections/catalog/products/the-safes-a-tribute-to-juliana-hatfield-seven-inch

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Upcoming Festival Appearance - Manchester UK, May 25, 2019 (Gigantic Vol.5)

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Upcoming Festival Appearance - Manchester UK, May 25, 2019 (Gigantic Vol.5)

UK live appearance alert!

On a bill including Echo & The Bunnymen, The Wonder Stuff, and The Bluetones, Juliana will appear at Manchester Academy on Saturday May 25, 2019 as part of Gigantic Vol.5.

Tickets: https://www.manchesteracademy.net/order/gateway/13339670/gigantic-vol-5-manchester-academy-2019-05-25-13-00-00

Unexpected!

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Juliana Releases Pussycat Home Demos

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Juliana Releases Pussycat Home Demos

Juliana, writing on her official site:

I would like to share the home demos I made for the songs on my 2017 Pussycat album. I am making them available for the completists and for the curious and for, well, anyone and everyone else. You can download them below and if you want you can pay for them; you can donate however much or little you desire (or not). Much of the money that comes in will go right back into more music-making (studio recording, etc.)

For more info and the download / donation links head to:

https://www.julianahatfield.com/for-sale/

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Boston, MA - August 18, 2018 - Photos, Set List

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Boston, MA - August 18, 2018 - Photos, Set List

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Juliana played at the Wicked Good Festival on Boston Common yesterday (Aug 18, 2018) on a bill that included Buffalo Tom and Bleachers.

She played:

  • Feel It
  • Sunny Somewhere
  • I See You
  • Somebody Is Waiting For Me
  • Wonder Why
  • Failure
  • My Sister
  • I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands
  • Necessito
  • Dancin' 'Round and 'Round
  • Everything Is Forgiven
  • Suspended In Time
  • Physical
  • Short-fingered Man
  • Choose Drugs

Set list info via Charlie P.

Thanks to David Young of Dry Eye Photography for these excellent photos:

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Interview - 'Become What You Are' — How An Album, Born Out Of Boston’s Early 90s Music Scene, Became A Gen-X Anthem | WGBH

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Interview - 'Become What You Are' — How An Album, Born Out Of Boston’s Early 90s Music Scene, Became A Gen-X Anthem | WGBH

Stacy Buchanan, for WGBH:

Juliana Hatfield Three’s Become What You Are just turned 25. It's hard to believe that one of Boston's most beloved albums is all grown up (and old enough to rent its own car). Reliving our own summers of '93 through the album sent us down the rabbit hole – and right to Ms. Hatfield's door.

Juliana Hatfield grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Berklee. By the time she formed the Juliana Hatfield Three with bassist Dean Fisher and drummer Todd Phillips, she had already been musically involved with the Blake Babies and the Lemonheads, as well as having a solo career. But the Juliana Hatfield Three birthed Become What You Are – and with a little help from some of the best (you just had to be there) minutes from the 90s, it charted on the Billboard 200, and its single, “Spin the Bottle," charted on the Mainstream Top 40. The album also turned Hatfield into a cultural icon, a hero for a generation of women that didn’t always see a place for themselves in the alt-rock boom of the early 90s.

It's 2018, and Hatfield is still at it. She just released her 15th studio album, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, and will be performing at the WERS Wicked Good Festival on Saturday, August 18. We caught up with her to recall the memorable Gen X moments that came from that first studio album – and the difficulties of being thrust into the limelight as a female artist, where commercial success did not connote respect.

 

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Audio - Deeper Than The Night

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Audio - Deeper Than The Night

Released on SoundCloud today and previously only available on a 7 inch bonus single sold with the Olivia Newton-John covers album, here's Juliana's version of Deeper Than The Night.

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Only Everything 2018 Vinyl Reissue

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Only Everything 2018 Vinyl Reissue

Run Out Groove are taking orders now through to August 7 for a limited 2018 vinyl reissue of Only Everything, which they expect to ship in November. They say:

· ROG to reissue Juliana’s Atlantic label debut album which has never been issued on vinyl in the US.
· The album was pressed once in Germany and hasn’t seen a vinyl reissue in 23 years
· Sourced from the original masters with lacquers cut at Sam Phillips Recording Studio
· Will be pressed on 180g vinyl at Record Industry in the Netherlands and come in a deluxe gatefold Stoughton jacket
· Fans will be given the opportunity to help decide the final colorway of the vinyl pressing in our Facebook Poll @RunOutGrooveLPs
· Each record will come numbered and strictly limited based on pre-orders

Only Everything was chosen this month by ROG customers from a list of possible albums to press. Each month they have a release available to order for only 30 days. As of today (July 18) there are only 20 full days left.

There are 2 discs and the track listing covers the original album, the 3 b-sides from the Universal Heart-beat EP / Single, and what appears to be an alternate version of Live On Tomorrow:

Side A
1 What A Life 3:22
2 Fleur De Lys 3:45
3 Universal Heart-Beat 3:25
4 Dumb Fun 3:26
5 Live On Tomorrow 2:59

Side B
1 Dying Proof 2:50
2 Bottles and Flowers 5:25
3 Outsider 3:16
4 OK OK 2:38

Side C
1 Congratulations 4:42
2 Hang Down From Heaven 3:22
3 My Darling 2:52
4 Simplicity Is Beautiful 4:14
5 You Blues 5:04

Side D
1 Where Would I Be Without You 4:07
2 Yardsailing 3:38
3 Girl In Old Blue Volvo Disowns Self 3:18
4 Live On Tomorrow 3:18

http://shop.runoutgroovevinyl.com/only-everything.html

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Interview with Juliana Hatfield - Goldmine Magazine

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Interview with Juliana Hatfield - Goldmine Magazine

Juliana, interviewed primarily about the Olivia album, by Warren Kurtz for Goldmine:

GM: You also taught me a few songs I didn’t know. Because of you, I finally bought the Xanadu soundtrack so that I could hear the original version of “Suspended in Time.” I also must have missed “Make a Move on Me” in 1982 on the radio, when I was listening to Quarterflash, Joan Jett and The Go-Go’s instead.

JH: “Suspended in Time” is most like a song I would have written. I love the chord progression and it felt most natural. “Make a Move on Me” was a big hit from the Physical album. You know, the album cover photo with short hair and a bandana. I changed it up to be a 4/4 rock song.

 

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Somerville, MA - May 7, 2018 - Photos, Set List (Bed 20th Anniversary Show)

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Somerville, MA - May 7, 2018 - Photos, Set List (Bed 20th Anniversary Show)

Juliana played The Burren in Somerville on Monday (May 7, 2018) for the 20th anniversary of 1998's Bed album, which she played in full from the start, followed by some bangers from Hey Babe, BWYA, Pussycat, and the Olivia Newton-John covers LP.

Set list and lineup info courtesy of Charlie P:
Magen Tracy: keyboard, percussion backing vocals.
Todd Philips: drums (and unmic'd backing vocals)
Ed Valauskas: bass and backing vocals

  • Down On Me
  • I Want To Want You
  • Swan Song
  • Sneaking Around
  • Backseat
  • Live It Up
  • You Are The Camera
  • Running Out
  • Bad Day
  • Let's Blow It All
  • Everybody Loves Me But You
  • I See You
  • Everything Is Forgiven
  • Suspended In Time
  • Physical
  • Dancin' 'Round and 'Round
  • Wonder Why
  • My Sister
  • Nirvana

Photos courtesy of David Young of Dry Eye Photography

YouTube is home to a bunch of clips. Thanks to spiketop for getting in touch about his playlist from the event and Carlos for other links.

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Upcoming Show - Wicked Good Festival, Boston Common, Aug 18, 2018

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Upcoming Show - Wicked Good Festival, Boston Common, Aug 18, 2018

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Via WERS.org:

88.9 WERS is proud to present a Wicked Good Festival, featuring FREE performances from Bleachers, Buffalo Tom, Juliana Hatfield, and Air Traffic Controller with even more still to be announced! Free and open to the public, this community event on Boston Common will be fun for the whole family. So plan to join us on August 18th for our first ever and totally FREE Wicked Good Festival – make sure to check back regularly for festival updates and additions to the lineup.

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